Thank god for BBC iplayer. A few days ago a tuned in and watched The Singing Detective with Robert Downey Jr (he’s great in The Wonder Boys with Michael Douglas). I am a big fan of Dennis Potter and knew that he acted as consultant on the film but died before it was finished (correct me if I’m wrong, you hear these rumours and sometimes they’re not true). I have the original TV series of The Singing Detective (featuring Michael Gambon) on DVD, and it is, and still is one of the greatest dramas of the 80s. Just to make sure that I was still correct in that assumption I watched it again and it has stood the test of time. The film version of The Singing Detective has Katie Holmes in it, do I need to draw you a picture of how bad this film is going to be? You cringe as much as the actors do, who you feel, whilst watching it are wondering how they are going to fire their agent. I gave up thirty minutes in, life is too short, and ill conceived adaptations should never see the light of day. Now, I DID NOT compare the film to the TV series, I let the film stand on its own merits and a great film it isn’t. Clunky. Awkward. Painful. That’s the film.
I’d like to say that I went on to watch a better film but I decided to tune in and watch Tapeheads with John Cusack and Tim Robbins. It was an 80s film. I lived through the 80s. The film was crap. In fact it was beyond crap, it stank so much that even Robert Downey Jr’s turn as The Singing Detective looked like high art — that makes me feel ill just thinking that. I think Downey is a good actor but he should have stayed away from this film script.
I wonder what other films are out there that stink. Let’s draw up a stink list of films to avoid. Come on folks, we need to scratch back those two and a half hours of our life that we never get back, we need to avoid those films like the plague.
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Titanic. The Hunt For Red October (long boring shots of submarines and a Russian bloke saying I’m going to buy a farm in Maine, then getting shot…), Pearl Harbour, oh the list just goes on and on… Any movie starring Jennifer Aniston, other assorted Friends cast, or Sarah Jessica Parker… Or Jean Claude Van Damme, Vin Diesel, Van Petrol, Vim Paraffin or whatever his name is…
I have never been so utterly bored throughout scenes of action in a movie. The action scenes bored me, the complete lack of exposition irritated me, and the films assertion that it was cleverer than I pissed me off entirely.
Even the pretty effects couldn’t save it.